be coming to my town?
There was a piece in the paper this morning about the former Beatle "snubbing" my capital city on his Downunder tour. I think the word "snub" is probably unfair. I doubt he makes the arrangements. They will be made by others who will look at things like the availability of a venue. The likely crowd of attendees, dates, costs, and all sorts of logistics will also be included in their considerations. He probably hasn't even asked what he would prefer.
And anyway, he did come here once...a long time ago. I remember the occasion. I was at school.
As a family we do not, with the exception of the Black Cat, listen to the radio. We had also been living in a dairying district. Cows, I am reliably informed, prefer classical music while being milked. The local children knew about classical music. They knew very little about "pop" music, although they knew more than I did.
I had just come to school in the city. I was lonely, homesick, miserable, and more.
And I had no idea who the Beatles were. Everyone else did. I remember the Latin teacher, close to retirement, coming into the classroom with an alarm clock. She put it down on the teacher's table and said something like, "Girls, the alarm is set for touch down." There was a cheer. What she meant was that she had set the alarm clock for the moment when the plane carrying the Beatles was due to touch down.
The school had been strict. There was roll call not just at the beginning of the day but at the beginning of each lesson. Nobody was going to skive off school. I really didn't understand the fuss. Why would you miss school for nothing more than possibly a brief glimpse of someone?
Each girl in the class had their own Beatle. They talked about the songs, and more. It meant nothing to me. I sat there silent and miserable.
At the end of the school day there seemed to be an excessive amount of homework - except from the Latin teacher. Other teachers seemed determined to keep the girls away from the crowd outside the hotel the Beatles were supposed to be staying in. It didn't work of course. After school, along with what seemed like every other student in the city, they swarmed down to the hotel near the railway station.
I hate large crowds. I hated them even then. I crept the long way around, still wondering what the fuss was about. I caught the train at the usual time, perhaps the only time I ever had an approving nod from the English teacher who told me I would never be able to write anything.
But the girls eventually decided that I needed to be educated. They got together and decided that I needed to see a film. I don't know which one it was but it was the Beatles doing something or other. The entire class, apart from the Exclusive Brethren girls, was going - and I was going too. They had all contributed and bought me a ticket. One of the parents was going to pick me up and take me back to the hostel I was boarding in. It was all arranged.
Bewildered, I accepted. They wanted me to go out with them? The film meant nothing to me. I have only a vague memory of something sepia coloured. I didn't like the music they thought was so wonderful. (I know - but I still prefer Beethoven and Bach to the Beatles.)
All that made no difference. I was then, and still am, grateful to Paul McCartney and his fellow Beatles for being the means by which I was included. That did make a difference.